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Chance to test your mettle in Polar Plunge

Hot chocolate will be in ready supply for those hardy enough to take part in the inaugural Polar Plunge at Wainui Beach on tomorrow.

Dozens of people are expected to brave the icy waves in the event, which will take place in front of the Wainui Surf-lifesaving Club at 2pm.

Organiser and Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club director of lifeguarding Belinda Slement said prizes would be on offer for the first to finish the swim course, as well as for the best dressed and spot prizes on the day.

“Prizes are a mixture of donated things,” she said. “Expect lots of laughs, gasps, shivers and fun, finished off with a hot cuppa.”

If all went well the Polar Plunge could become an annual event, she said.

“We have quite a good relationship with Waihi surf club and they do an annual Polar Plunge event and it's so successful.

“It's a great way to have a bit of club camaraderie and do something in the winter, given there's not much happens in the winter time for surf clubs, and making it dress-up makes it fun and encourages kids to come down.

“We tested the water with some of our club members and they were really keen, so we thought why not open it up to the community.

“If the swell is safe enough, we'll put out a buoy and have a short course people can swim out to and around. If the swell is too big, it will very much be a plunge and then an out.

“The sea temperatures are pretty chilly. The temperature is about 14degC at the moment, so it's pretty fresh.”

• The event is free to enter.